Obesity rates have more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in America in the past 30 years. It is fair to say that childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. In addition, type-2 diabetes, which was previously referred to as ‘adult-onset diabetes’ is now a much more common problem in patients of younger ages, with children being diagnosed with the metabolic disease.
Whether it is as parents, doctors, coaches, friends or communities, we all know that the health of our children should be at the core of our priorities. How does it make you feel that our children are the first generation with a shorter life span than their parents? We at IMUA feel called to action, as do so many others who realize the enormity of the problem.
Last month, Seattle Seahawks football player, Michael Bennett, envisioned and sponsored the OCEAN Health Festival which IMUA doctors, Dr Elizabeth Ignacio and Dr Nicole Gesik, were proud to be a part of. The week-long event included cooking demonstrations by Sam Choy, nutrition education, and a family health and activity fair. The aim of this unifying event was to ‘provide families the opportunity to obtain valuable information on how to make better choices that will lead to positive health changes and a healthier lifestyle for Hawaii’s keiki.’
Dr Gesik, Sam Choy and Dr Ignacio led cooking demonstrations during the OCEAN Health Festival
This was a wonderful event that brought our community together, united in the mission to help educate our children that health starts at home, and in the small choices that we make every day. Centered on health as a lifestyle, food as fuel, and activity as play, the message of the OCEAN festival is one that shows that we as a community can help our keiki have a healthier and happier tomorrow.